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Original U.S. Colt .45cal Single Action Army Revolver made in 1876 with 5" Barrel - Serial 22960

Regular price $3,995.00

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is every School boy's dream! A real Cowboy six gun! This great looking "frontier worn" Colt SAA (Single Action Army) Revolver has a "gunfighter friendly" shortened 5" barrel and lovely worn Colt hard rubber grips, bearing the iconic Colt "Pony" on top. Originally issued with case hardened frame other components blued, it now has a lovely "frontier worn" oxidized steel patina overall.

The revolver's serial number is 22960, which dates production to 1876, only the THIRD YEAR OF PRODUCTION. It has the serial number on the frame, while the trigger guard number is worn away, and the grip frame number only shows a faint 296. The underside of the barrel under the ejector does have shortened serial number 2960, while the cylinder number is also completely worn away. There is also assembly number 1370 marked on the loading gate. It is in full working order and condition, showing a lovely patina of age, sure to delight any "Old West" Americana collector.

The original Colt address marking on the top of the barrel is mostly worn away, showing only F. A. MFG Co., but looks to be a single line, so we believe this revolver originally had a 7 1/2" barrel. It then was shortened during the service life, and anew custom bronze front blade sight was installed. The patent markings on the left side of the frame are completely worn away. It is possible that the revolver was refurbished at some time, but it is more likely that it simply was cleaned and exposed to the elements for decades, which removed most markings.

There is no caliber marking, but have checked the cylinder and barrel with real cartridges to confirm. This revolver is definitely chambered for .45 Colt, also known as .45 "LONG" Colt, one of the most legendary handgun cartridges of the old west. When you hear people talk of a "Colt 45", this model gun is the reason why.

The revolver the look of a gun that saw long service on the frontier, and has a patina that is simply impossible to duplicate. The original Colt hard rubber grips still have much of their checkering present, with mostly clear logos, so they may be period replacements, which then saw wear themselves. They have several notches made in the bottom, which gunfighters often would do to keep track of their "score". Definitely a great set of grips!

Mechanically, the action is smooth, with a strong cylinder lock up, and crisp dry fire. The action has all four clicks, and we did not notice any finicky behavior during cycling, as we often would on a revolver from this time period. The bore is in good condition, showing clear rifling but also fouling and oxidation from the black powder ammunition. The ejector door swings open easily, and the ejector itself works great.

Pistols such as this are extremely difficult to find today at any reasonable price. This example is just ideal for any Wild West Collection. A great collector's revolver, ready to display!


Year of Manufacture: 1876
Caliber: .45 "Long" Colt
Ammunition Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 5 inches
Overall Length: 10 1/4 inches
Action: Single Action
Feed System: 6 Shot Revolver

History of the Colt Single Single Action Army

Bound by the Rollin White patent (#12,648, April 3, 1855) and not wanting to pay a royalty fee to Smith & Wesson, Colt could not begin development of bored-through revolver cylinders for metallic cartridge use until April 4, 1869. For the design, Colt turned to two of its best engineers: William Mason and Charles Brinckerhoff Richards who had developed a number of revolvers and black powder conversions for the company. Their effort was designed for the United States government service revolver trials of 1872 by Colt's Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company and adopted as the standard military service revolver. Production began in 1873 with the Single Action Army model 1873, also referred to as the "New Model Army Metallic Cartridge Revolving Pistol".

The very first production Single Action Army, serial number 1, thought lost for many years after its production, was found in a barn in Nashua, New Hampshire in the early 1900s. It was chambered in .45 Colt, a centerfire design containing charges of up to 40 grains (2.6 g) of fine-grained black powder and a 255-grain (16.5 g) blunt roundnosed bullet. Relative to period cartridges and most later handgun rounds, it was quite powerful in its full loading.

The Colt Single Action Army revolver, along with the 1870 and 1875 Smith & Wesson Model 3 "Schofield" revolver, replaced the Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolver. The Colt quickly gained favor over the S&W and remained the primary US military sidearm until 1892 when it was replaced by the .38 Long Colt caliber Colt Model 1892, a double-action revolver with swing-out cylinder. By the end of 1874, serial no. 16,000 was reached; 12,500 Colt Single Action Army revolvers chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge had entered service and the remaining revolvers were sold in the civilian market.

The Colt .45 is a famous piece of American history, known as "The Gun That Won the West". The Single Action army is a very popular firearm, even today, and it continues to be produced in various configurations.

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